Game thinking from Adam Clare

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Approaching Customer Experience

I’ve mentioned user experience (UX) before and now there’s another term to be aware of: customer experience (CX). The main reason I think this is noteworthy is that often UX and CX are the same thing; this is particularly true as to when the experience starts.

The best approach to crafting a good experience starts before the experience proper.

Here’s a post from CX Journey blog that captures this approach:

he customer’s experience doesn’t start when the salesperson comes calling or when your customer first purchases your product. The customer experience begins long before that, when the customer realizes he has a need. By the time you try to sell something to him, it’s too late.

If you take a look at the customer experience lifecycle that I depicted in a previous post, you’ll see that the lifecycle begins when the Need arises. That Need begets Awareness (sometimes it comes after Awareness). If you’re communicating, if you’re getting the word out (through messaging and through actions) about who your company is, what your products do, how your services differ, what value you bring, what needs you meet or problems you solve, and, most importantly, what you stand for, your customers will never recite the words from the Man in the Chair.

Some User Experience Design Pitfalls

First off, here’s some context as to what user experience (UX) is all about from this great introduction to UX by Smashing Magazine:

Those who work on UX (called UX designers) study and evaluate how users feel about a system, looking at such things as ease of use, perception of the value of the system, utility, efficiency in performing tasks and so forth.
UX designers also look at sub-systems and processes within a system. For example, they might study the checkout process of an e-commerce website to see whether users find the process of buying products from the website easy and pleasant. They could delve deeper by studying components of the sub-system, such as seeing how efficient and pleasant is the experience of users filling out input fields in a Web form.

Making a UX plan can be a cumbersome process or a very easy on, it all comes down to how you approach the task. Some common mistakes that people make can be found in these five UX research pitfalls by Elaine Wherry. Here’s a snippet from the first point:

pitfall 1: it’s easier to evaluate a completed, pixel-perfect product so new products don’t get vetted or tested until they’re nearly out the door.

Months into a development cycle and just days before the release date, you realize that the UI has serious flaws or missing logic. If you’re lucky, there is enough flexibility in the schedule to allow grumbling engineers to re-architect the product. More likely, though, the PM will push to meet the original deadline with the intent to fix the UI issues later. However, “later” rarely happens. Regardless, everyone wonders: how could these issues have been caught earlier?

Still confused, here’s an OK presentation on what UX design is all about:

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